It should have been a joyous birthday celebration for students of Vivekananda Law College, in Dakshina Kannada’s Puttur, but Bajrang Dal activists gatecrashed the party and created a few tense moments.
The activists reportedly took objection to the fact that the students all belonged to different communities.
The police took suo motu cognisance of the case and arrested Bajrang Dal leader Sridhar Tenkila.
Students of Vivekananda Law College were celebrating at a restaurant near Boluvar in Puttur on Tuesday. The group of students, who belong to different religions, cut a cake as part of the birthday celebrations but their revelry was cut short when a group of 10 men arrived and took objection to the students celebrating.
Police officials at the Puttur Town Police Station told TNM that the men who went to the restaurant were tipped off that boys and girls from different communities were celebrating together. They even called up the police informing them that students belonging to different religion were celebrating together at the restaurant.
“They confronted the students and created a tense situation at the restaurant. A suo moto case under Section 107 (abetment of a thing) under the Indian Penal Codehas been filed against Bajrang Dal district co-convenor Sridhar Tenkila,” police officials at Puttur confirmed. They added that such incidents were becoming increasingly common in the region.
According to Inspector Sharan Gowda, the gang fled the scene to evade arrest. However, one Swaroop Bhat was identified as being part of the gang. “We will arrest all of them soon,” the police inspector said speaking to The New Indian Express.
Several similar incidents have been reported in the last few months from Dakshina Kannada.
In December, sustained pressure from a right-wing group forced a 20-year old Hindu woman to break off her relationship with a Muslim man in Mangaluru. Members of Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, ‘counselled’ the woman and also alleged that the person she loved was a drug peddler.
It is not just inter-faith love that is frowned upon. Even inter-faith friendship has irked members of pro-Hindutva groups.
In January, members of the Hindu Jagrana Vedike attacked a group of students belonging to different religions for hanging out together at a water park.